Ewoks Farm Coffee, Apartently

The upcoming Han Solo movie will, no doubt, make all sorts of changes to Star Wars canon, but a just-released book about Han and Lando’s adventures quietly revealed that Ewoks are actually renown coffee farmers. Yep, those cute little Imperial-killing teddy bears are responsible for the best cup of java you’ll find outside of Dex’s Diner.

The book, Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel, came out earlier this week, and it follows the two coolest characters in the galaxy across three distinct time periods. In one of them, set after Return of the Jedi but well before The Force Awakens, baby Ben Solo kicks his dad in the face. Later in that scene, Han’s culinary droid, BX-778, brews up a mean cup of Endorian caf. (Coffee is called “caf” in the book because, well, that’s how Star Wars rolls).

Here’s an excerpt:

“Coagulating the finest Endorian caf beans,” he chirped jauntily as one of his appendages swung open a floor hatch and another plunged into the crawl space below, appearing moments later with a scoop of the dark-brown beans. “Ah! Picked from the cliggs of the Campalan mountain range on the southeastern peninsula of the forest moon by well-compensated, humanely treated Ewok caf farmers!”

Caf actually has a fairly well-documented history in Star Wars canon. Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla drank Spiran caf in Star Wars Rebels, for instance. But, this new revelation that Ewoks are coffee farmers is surprising and, to be honest, kind of unsettling.

BX-778 goes out of his way to say that the Ewok farmers are “well-compensated” and “humanely treated,” which seems to indicate that Ewoks did not always cultivate coffee. Rather, a more advanced, caf-drinking species came to the forest moon following the destruction of the second Death Star and found a new workforce. The Prime Directive, this ain’t.

That BX-778 states that they’re “humanely treated” raises the idea that human treatment of Ewoks isn’t a given, which is kind of messed-up even if they are a species that will eat human flesh if given the chance. The real coffee industry here on Earth has ethical issues of its own, and not all coffee growers are paid a fair wage and treated well by their employers. Imagine, then, how less-advanced beings like Ewoks might be taken advantage of by a galactic agricultural giant.

"Don't talk to me unless I've had my morning cup of caf!" — This Ewok, probably.
"Don't talk to me unless I've had my morning cup of caf!" — This Ewok, probably. 

Honestly, though, given that official Star Wars canon seems to have debunked the idea of the Endor Holocaust — a popular theory that posited that the ruins of the Death Star would have ravaged Endor’s moon with flaming debris and killed all of the Ewoks — being possibly exploited agricultural workers for a corporation they don’t understand maybe isn’t so bad.

Oh, and as for the question of if coffee, which only grows near the Earth’s equator, would even grow on Endor’s moon, which has a climate that very much resembles that of Northern California? Starbucks didn’t return my email in time. It’s okay. They’re busy. However, the National Coffee Association did. According to NCA Director of Scientific Affairs & Project Management Mark Corey told Inverse that it was possible, though unlikely.

“Coffee can’t grow below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or they’ll freeze,” Corey explained. “If there’s a frost, it will kill the leaves of the coffee plant. So, conditions similar to Northern California would likely be too cool to grow coffee successfully.”

Wookiepedia says Endor’s moon is covered in “dense woodlands, tall mountains and savannas,” so there’s some climate variation, at least, though it’s pretty well-adhering to Star Wars’ tradition of one-biome planets. Older bits of Star Wars lore that are no longer canon claim even more environmental diversity, as the NCA’s Digital Content Manager Kyra Auffermann noted. Thus, she surmises it’s possible Endor has an area where coffee might grow.

The forest moon of Endor.
The forest moon of Endor.

Plus, there’s another possible explanation. This is sci-fi, after all.

“Given the advanced biotechnology in Star Wars, it seems feasible that scientists could genetically modify Earth coffee to grow on Endor,” Auffermann said, noting that real scientists are already modifying coffee IRL.

“Except for the fact that it’s not real, that is,” she admitted.

If that’s the case, one hopes that the biotech corporation growing coffee on Endor is given enough of their immense resources to their Ewok workers.

This post was update to include comments from the NCA.

Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel is available now, while Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25.